6 June 2024

Thailand’s Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha said today that he will not tolerate explosions, even if only a handful people were injured, and he questioned the motive of the perpetrators or their masterminds for timing the violent incidents while Thailand is hosting the ASEAN foreign ministers’ meeting in Bangkok.

Speaking at a news conference at the Royal Thai Police headquarter, after chairing a meeting with senior police officers, the Prime Minister credited the cooperation by officials from several agencies for the quick arrest of two suspects.

The suspects, both from the restive southern province of Narathiwat, were arrested at a road checkpoint in Chumpon province at about 2am this morning as they were travelling in a South-bound tour bus from Bangkok.

He urged members of the public to watch out for suspicious people or suspicious activities, saying there are still people of ill content in the country who are ready to cause trouble whenever there is an opportunity.

At this stage, the Prime Minister said that he didn’t want to rule out any motive for the violence and asked for patience, adding that the truth will soon emerge, saying “Whoever they are, they are bad people and there must no room for them here.”

The Prime Minister said that the explosions, which injured two people today, were unexpected as there were no indications before that violence of this type would happen with a new government assuming the office and having just presented its policies to parliament.

Despite the violence, he said that there was no need for a special law to be invoked to deal with the situation.

The national police chief, Pol Gen Chakthip Chaijinda, said that the perpetrators were the same group which staged multiple bomb attacks in seven southern provinces three years ago.

He said that some of the incidents today are believed to be connected, except for the incident at Rama 9 where any possible connection remains unclear.

Dr. Panitarn Wattanayakorn, former security advisor to Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwan, said that the blasts today were believed to have been intended to discredit the government and, at the same time, create a sense of insecurity among commuters.

Meanwhile, Future Forward party leader Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit and Secretary-general Piyabutr Saengkanokkul offered moral support to the government and officials concerned with resolving the case quickly, but cautioned that the government must not to use the incidents as an excuse to invoke a special law to control the situation.